Dybala ‘sad and angry’ amid Man Utd speculation

Paulo Dybala is said to be “sad and angry” over his situation at Juventus, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Manchester United have emerged as potential suitors for Dybala this summer in something of a swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku heading to Turin.

But the ‘greedy’ b*stard’s wage demands have seen the move stall as the Argentine contemplates his future.

It would be the perfect signing for United but Dybala’s reluctance is understandable, given that he would be sacrificing at least one season of Champions League football.

Trying to figure out what the f*** Juventus are doing even contemplating the deal is difficult and Romano has explained the latest.

Romano told Transfer Talk podcast: “Dybala had a terrible season last year and he was convinced it was the fault of his relationship with former manager Massimiliano Allegri. After Allegri left the club he realised that the problem was with the club, not just the manager.

“The problem was tactical because of his role. He feels like a No 10 but Maurizio Sarri plays with a 4-3-3.

“Also Juventus need money after spending on Matthijs de Ligt and other transfers, they must sell someone.

“Dybala does not want to leave Juventus, he has always said he wants a chance to show his skills, show his best at the club.

“I am told Paulo is so sad and angry now. He was convinced he would stay and now he is considering the possibility of leaving for Manchester United.”

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Man Utd offer £45.7m for Brazil international after Maguire deal

Manchester United have tabled an offer for Ajax forward David Neres after agreeing a deal to sign Harry Maguire, according to reports.

United will pay £85million for Maguire, with the deal subject to a medical and personal terms, though with the Leicester defender keen to make the step up the latter should prove no obstacle.

And following that news, journalist Jorge Nicola reports in his blog for Yahoo (via Sport Witness) that the Red Devils have made a €50m bid for Neres.

Neres has previously been linked with Liverpool and Everton after a stellar season with Ajax, scoring 12 goals and assisting 15 in 50 games.

The report adds that the Brazil international was set to sign a new deal with the Dutch side but the offer from United has delayed a decision on that.

Ajax are only willing to do business for €70m (£64m) but the report adds that a deal of that magnitude could see United have Financial Fair Play issues.


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Everton complete fourth signing with £25m Gbamin deal

Everton have made Mainz midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin their fourth signing of the summer, bringing him in on a five-year deal for a reported fee of £25m.

The 23-year-old’s arrival will fill the void left by Idrissa Gueye’s move to Paris St Germain earlier in the week.

Gbamin told evertontv: “It’s a big moment with a lot of emotion and now it’s on me to prove on the pitch why they bought me.

“I’m excited because Everton is a great club here in England with a big history and ambition, so I didn’t think for more than a moment – I wanted to come here.

“I like to go in the duels. I like to run a lot and tackle. I also pass good and have a good transition. All the rest, the fans will see. I will give everything on the pitch.”

Ivory Coast international Gbamin began his career at Lens before joining Bundesliga outfit Mainz in 2016, where he made 86 league appearances and scored three goals.

Everton boss Marco Silva told the club’s official website: “He is ready for this challenge – to come and help us to keep getting better.

“He is full of ambition to play for Everton, fits with our model and he will give us different solutions in our midfield.”

Meanwhile, Moise Kean is set to arrive for a medical in the next 24 hours ahead of completing a deal reported to be worth £30million.

Kean is the player who is exciting Everton fans the most as they hope the long wait for a regular goalscorer is over, having seen the team struggle up front since the departure of Romelu Lukaku two years ago.

Since then, Wayne Rooney (10) and Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson (both 13) have been the Toffees’ top Premier League scorers in the last couple of seasons.

Kean has scored 11 times in 35 Serie A appearances, the majority of which have been as a substitute, for Juventus and on loan at Verona but is viewed as a player with huge potential by manager Marco Silva and director of football Marcel Brands.

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Everton have already secured Andre Gomes, who spent last season on loan at Goodison Park, on a permanent deal, along with back-up goalkeeper Jonas Lossl from Huddersfield and Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph.


When does the 2019 Championship season start and where can you watch it?

When does the 2019 Championship season start?

According to the Football League, the Championship season officially starts on Saturday August 3 this year. That is the first multi-fixture matchday of the campaign, but the first match of the season actually takes place on Friday August 2.

That fixture will see newly-promoted Luton Town host last-season’s under-achievers Middlesbrough at Kenilworth Road and it kicks off at 7.45pm.

How can I watch the 2019 Championship season?

If you are a UK viewer, you can find the Championship season, and indeed all live Football League football across the 2019/20 season, on Sky Sports.

Quest, who are owned by the Discovery Channel, hold the rights to broadcast a weekly highlights show as well as ten midweek editions throughout the season. Last season they put their Saturday night programme out at 9pm so to avoid a clash with the BBC’s Premier League highlights show Match of the Day.

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They have chosen the same timeslot for the upcoming season too but, controversially, opted to extend the show, meaning a small overlap with MOTD.


Exactly a year before Tokyo Olympic marathon, 30C recorded at starting point — at 6 a.m.

The temperature near the new National Stadium located in central Tokyo, where the Olympic marathon will start and finish, hit 30 degrees Celsius at 6 a.m. on Friday, Japan-based weather service provider Weathernews said.

With exactly one year to go until the 2020 Olympic women’s marathon, which starts at 6 a.m., the Weathernews team measured the temperature along the route, stopping their vehicle every 5 kilometers to take readings.

In addition to the sweltering heat, they also measured humidity levels of more than 70 percent as of 6 a.m.

“There were some thin clouds. Once you’re exposed to direct sunlight the temperature will feel different,” said Kazuo Asada, who runs the sports meteorology team at Weathernews and is also a member of the science committee at the Japan Association of Athletics Federations.

The statistical data they collected will be used to plan measures to safeguard runners against heat-related illnesses.

The women’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympics will start at 6 a.m. on Aug. 2, and the men’s marathon at the same time on Aug. 9.

Originally, the start time was set for 7:30, which was then revised to 7 a.m. before it was moved again to counter the possible health risks to athletes, spectators and workers.

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Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev visits disputed island off Hokkaido despite protest from Tokyo

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, RUSSIA – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday made his first visit since 2015 to one of the four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido that are claimed by Japan, despite a request from Tokyo to have the trip canceled, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

Medvedev traveled to Etorofu, which is called Iturup in Russia. The island is part of what Russia calls the Southern Kurils, which are known as the Northern Territories in Japan. Tokyo claims they were illegally seized by the Soviet Union following Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II.

It was Medvedev’s fourth visit to one of the disputed islands.

Japan lodged a strong protest against Medvedev’s visit to Etorofu through diplomatic channels.

But Medvedev claimed that the islands are Russia’s territory, suggesting that Moscow will not accept the Japanese protest, according to Russian news agency Tass.

He was scheduled to visit a seafood processing factory and a hot-spring facility, check on progress in improving infrastructure such as roads and schools, and go fishing on a yacht, according to Russian government officials.

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With bilateral negotiations on the dispute at a standstill, Medvedev’s visit is believed to be intended to highlight Moscow’s control of the island through its efforts to develop the remote territory.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of Vladivostok next month on the sidelines of an economic conference.

But Medvedev’s trip may affect plans for joint economic programs on the disputed islands between the two countries.

Japan has been promoting joint development of the islands in its bid to secure their eventual return.

In November 2010, when he was president, Medvedev visited Kunashiri, another of the four islands, becoming the first Russian leader to visit one of the disputed isles.

He visited Kunashiri again in July 2012 as prime minister and Etorofu in August 2015.

Each visit has prompted a formal protest from Japan, and bilateral relations were particularly strained after he told Kunashiri residents in 2012 that Moscow would never return the islands.

The territorial dispute has prevented the two countries from concluding a postwar peace treaty.

Last November, Abe and Putin agreed to step up talks on a peace treaty based on a 1956 joint declaration that mentions handing back two of the islands — Shikotan and the Habomai islet group — to Japan.

But further progress has yet to materialize, with Putin apparently concerned that his falling support rate may drop further if he hands over the territory.

Japan’s social security benefits topped ¥120 trillion to hit record high in 2017

Social security benefits paid out in fiscal 2017 reached a record high and exceeded ¥120 trillion for the first time, a welfare ministry-affiliated think tank said Friday.

The figure for the year to March 2018 stood at ¥120.24 trillion, up 1.6 percent from the previous year, the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research said.

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Social security benefits have been on the increase since statistics began in 1950.

Such benefits include pensions and spending for medical services, with self-pay portions excluded. They are mainly financed by tax revenues and social security insurance premiums.

By category, pensions totaled ¥54.83 trillion, the largest figure and nearly 50 percent of the total. But the year-on-year growth of pensions was only 0.8 percent, due in part to a drop in public pension allowances.

Medical expenditures grew 1.6 percent to ¥39.42 trillion, reflecting the aging of society.

Spending on welfare and other purposes, including child-rearing and nursing care, increased 3.1 percent to ¥25.99 trillion.

First engine-powered aircraft to ever fly in Japan returns to Tokorozawa in Saitama

TOKOROZAWA, SAITAMA PREF. – An exhibition of the first engine-powered aircraft that flew in Japan opened at an aviation museum in Tokorozawa on Thursday, marking its return to the city in Saitama Prefecture after 74 years.

The French-made Henri Farman biplane, whose fabric-covered wings have a span of about 10 meters, has a propeller powered by a 50-horsepower engine installed behind the pilot’s seat.

The first powered flight in the country took place in December 1910, when the Henri Farman was flown by Imperial Japanese Army Capt. Yoshitoshi Tokugawa in the Yoyogi district of Tokyo.

After the historic flight, the aircraft was moved to the country’s first airfield in Tokorozawa and was used mainly for training. In April 1911, it flew about 10 meters above ground for a distance of some 800 meters.

The aircraft was transferred to the United States in 1945 after the end of World War II. It was returned to Japan in 1960 and stored at the Air Self-Defense Force’s Iruma base in Saitama Prefecture after being displayed at a transportation museum in the capital’s Akihabara district.

The exhibition in Tokorozawa, designed to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival in Japan of a team of French aviation trainers, started with ASDF support.

“The structure is so different from today’s aircraft. I can’t believe that it really flew in the sky,” said Takumi Matsumoto, a 30-year-old corporate employee who visited the exhibition with his family.

Chelsea reject two massive offers from Prem rival for teen

Crystal Palace have had a £25m bid for Reece James ‘immediately knocked back’ by Chelsea.

James has been identified by Palace as a potential replacement for right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who joined Manchester United in a deal worth £50m earlier this summer.

The 19-year-old spent this past season on loan at Wigan, with his performances earning interest from United and leading to Mark Lawrenson suggesting Liverpool should sign him.

But Frank Lampard is understood to be desperate to keep James due to his youth and versatility.

The Independent say the Blues ‘immediately knocked back’ an offer of £25m from Palace earlier this week, as well as ‘an alternative proposal of an 18-month loan with a significant upfront fee’.

Chelsea are intent on persuading James – who has been ‘given guarantees’ he will play – to sign a new contract.

But the defender, also wanted by Bournemouth, Brighton and Newcastle, is still ‘in the loan section of the dressing room’ instead of ‘being fully integrated into the main changing area with the senior members of the first team squad.’


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Man United given huge boost as Ronaldo changes Dybala’s mind

Manchester United have received ‘a resounding endorsement’ from Cristiano Ronaldo in their race to sign Paulo Dybala.

United have emerged as potential suitors for Dybala this summer in something of a swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku heading to Turin.

But the ‘greedy’ b*stard’s wage demands have seen the move stall as the Argentine contemplates his future.

It would be the perfect signing for United but Dybala’s reluctance is understandable, given that he would be sacrificing at least one season of Champions League football.

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Trying to figure out what the f*** Juventus are doing even contemplating the deal is difficult, but any reservations might have been alleviated by advice from teammate Ronaldo.

The Daily Mail say that Dybala asked for the Portuguese’s advice and was told that it was at Old Trafford where he became a ‘champion’.

Ronaldo ‘approved’ of the move and gave United ‘a resounding endorsement’ as ‘one of the strongest voices at the club’.

‘Ronaldo’s seal of approval will help quell any feelings of doubt held by Dybala,’ report the Mail. They add that the forward ‘is now ready to accept United’s offer’.